bradley's almanac - a boston-based music blog
navigate the 'nac
almanac mp3 archives almanac shared mp3 archive
live show photo archive boston-area live shots on flickr
'my life or some dream'
original mp3 compilation

free mp3 compilation on club fub
bands i've been in bands i've played drums in
the 'nac faq & contact info
contact info and more
the 'nac on the 'net
the almanac rss feed
subscribe to my rss feed
follow me on twitter the almanac twitter account
become a fan on facebook the 'nac on facebook
the almanac tumblr page bradley's tumblanac
hype machine 'nac page the almanac hype machine page
the almanac soundcloud page the almanac shuffler page
the 'nac songkick gig page the almanac songkick gig page
almanac events on sponty the almanac sponty events page
the almanac page the almanac page
listen to 'nac mp3s on shuffler the almanac shuffler page

the almanac archives

search the 'nac

recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Back in Blog

Bless me fatha, for I have not blogged. It's been one week since my last post.

Yeah, I'm still here, don't go frettin'. Feelin' run down after my DC Teenbeat trip, started playin' drums with some new friends, cramming for a March 13th show at TTs. Work's been a little nutty, the Nac's gotten a bit dusty, but I've been working on two more Teenbeat-related posts (and lotsa live mp3s) that should be up in the next couple days. Blog willin'.

Until then, a few semi-quick things...

Hey, Boston-types: David Rees (he of the brilliant Get Your War On and M.N.F.T.I.U.) will be speaking and signing at Harvard's Boylston Hall tomorrow afternoon, Friday the 4th, at 4pm 7pm. I'm gonna have to skip outta work a little early for it (that ok, boss?). Check out Rees' hardcore art-skillz on this poster for the event. Impressive, as always. (thanks for the heads up, sushiesque)

Further evidence that my friend Jo rules the school: Check out her newly-christened Friday Night Project, where she'll be trying to convert and post one random live/rare cassette in digital form each week. The first one is a doozy: Some old-style House of Love, recorded live in 1987 when they were still a five piece, with Andrea Heukamp on guitar and vocals. Very, very nice. Thanks, Jo.

Speaking of which, thanks to Chromewaves for directing me to, where I just ordered up the new (import-only) House of Love disc for a mere 10 british pounds, shipping included. Cheapest I've seen it. Pretty satisfying to be able to write "new House of Love disc", and I hope it's worth the wait. Now, how about some North American tour dates?

So I caught a preview screening of Hostage, the supposed 'return-to-form' action vehicle for Mr. Bruce Willis. Since Die Hard is easily among my favorite straight-up-action films, I had a sliver of hope that this movie could be a solid diversion, if not necessarily an original one.

The swooping, animated cityscape of the opening title sequence had me thinking they'd swapped out the screening for a sneak of Sin City (don't I wish)... all blacks and whites, and blood red skies. It kinda looked liked a cutscene sequence from a Hostage video game, which would no doubt be more enjoyable than the film itself. Hell, I'd play it. (Ah ha... a little clicking reveals that the director of Hostage, Florent Emilio Siri, actually helmed two Splinter Cell games. There ya go.)

Based on a Robert Crais novel, Willis plays Jeff Talley, an L.A. hostage negotiator who takes a small-town police chief position after a negotiations falls apart. You know the drill, even if you haven't seen the trailer... the slo-mo tragedy of this opening is a simple set up for an eventual shot at redemption. It cruises through this obiligatory intro, straight into the "why did we have to move here?" family squabble (using his real-life daughter, Rumor, who has a small, whiny part, and the unfortunate combination of Bruce's huge oval head and Demi's small-ish facial features), and then the "we're in a small town and things are so simple" police station scene, but without any real emotion... there's no connection made to any of the supporting cast, which would have ratcheted up the drama later on. It all seems so painfully paint-by-numbers.

The score was so over-the-top, the sound mix so bombastic, and the story so overwrought, it would have been comical if it wasn't so damn deadly dull. It lacked the energy and pace of a Die Hard film, was entirely devoid of humor, relying far too much on Bruce's furrowed brow, and on Ben Foster's sulking, gothy character for menace. Six Feet Under fans know Foster well... here he pretty much plays a murderous riff on broody art-student Russell, but there's no real motivation revealed, just an offhand line about losing his parents or something. There's one unintentionally hilarious slow-motion shot of him framed by flames, and I swear he looks like the star of the next direct-to-video Crow film. The filmmakers also constantly and creepily milk the threat of underage sexual assault, with lots of shots of freaky Foster leering at his tied-up teenage hostage and her peek-a-boo thong.

And the violence... so much of it was unnecessary, all blood-spurting headshots, live burning bodies, and a particularly brutal knife to the mouth. I know, that just guaranteed some of you will go check this out. Hey, I'm game for a little gore, but this movie uses it so sloppily, and all too gratuitously. It even pulls the cheapest trick in the book (the villians are so evil they kill puppies!). With a better supporting cast, a tighter script, and sharper direction, these moments of shock could easily have come from situations instead of upside-your-head violence. The movie's premise actually provides a solid enough framework, but the screenwriter and director fail to fill it in. There's no rhythm, no build-up, and so no real pay-off.

I've heard good things about Robert Crais' novels, and I'm really curious to hear from fans of this book after they see the film... did Hollywood screw this up? Was it all down to the editing and directing choices, or was the source material this ham-fisted?

If you're in the mood for some big-screen action, skip this sucker and check out Ong-Bak. And if you're hankering for some classic Bruce, turn on your television. Somewhere, on some random cable channel, Die Hard is probably on.

My longtime appreciation for Vermont Senator Pat Leahy climbs yet another notch, as he sponsors a new Anti-Phishing-Scam bill. If you user the internet, and I'm, uh, guessing you do, this will impact you. Go, Senator, Go.

Athiests, agnostics, and others will find this both amusing and fairly frightening: My Little Golden Book About Zogg.

The second part of the exclusive fan-conducted interview with The Arcade Fire is up over at fan-forum Neighborhood #1. If you missed the first part, it's right here.

Now that I'm spending more time behind the drum kit again, I need some real earplugs. I've never really used any, and I'm gonna end up paying for it if I don't start soon, so I ordered up a pair of these. Relatively cheap, and promise to do the job. Hope their product is better than their unnecessarily flash-heavy website. I need to find something that saves my hearing but still allows me to feel what we're all playing. If that didn't sound too cheezy.

From earplugs to Headphones. Not the wearable kind, but the listenable kind... namely the new non-guitar trio of Pedro the Lion's David Bazan, Tim Walsh, and Frank Lenz. Electronics, vocals, and live drums, and you can stream their entire album over at Pure Volume. Doesn't come out until May, so that's quite an early preview.

My friend Rob sent me a link to his new Black & Blue Productions site, where you can check out a video for My First Days on Junk's 'From A Parked Car'. Head over, click on 'Reel', have a listen-and-look-see.

Just a few more weeks until that swell double/triple disc Yo La Tengo collection gets released. Billboard speaks with Ira Kaplan about it.

Nostalgic gamers delight: Liberated Games has dozens of free, legal downloads of old-school PC games. We're talkin' Hexen, Descent, Doom, Heretic, Rise of the Triad, lots more. I seriously need more free time.

The first Red Sox spring training game of the '05 season is on the tube tonight, and it's gonna be nice to kick back and soak that in, pretend it's not wintertime for an evening. Yesterday I shook the magic hand of former Sox pitcher Bill 'The Spaceman' Lee, and told him how much fun I had watching NESN's recent rebroadcasting of the '76 Red Sox vs. Reds World Series. He did, too, remarking that "It'd been years since I've seen myself pitch!". He's got a new book out, if you're a fan of the man.

By Monday, some live Teenbeat mp3 action. This I do solemnly swear. And if you've emailed me in the past couple weeks, hang in there... I'm hoping to clear out my inbox over the weekend, too...

featured mp3 download
neil halstead
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

recent posts on the 'nac...

on the nightstand

boston-area music bloggers

boston music media

I Buy Music

This page is powered by Blogger Pro.